Premier League clubs that furlough non-playing staff during the Covid-19 crisis should be slapped with a windfall tax, according to the chair of Westminster’s sports select committee.
Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich City have taken steps to furlough non-playing staff so they can access the government’s wage subsidy scheme, while still paying players their full contracts.
For Tottenham, the eighth richest club in the world, that means 550 staff will be receiving 80 per cent of their wages from the government, while its star striker Harry Kane keeps all of his £200,000-a-week salary.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee chair Julian Knight wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak today to urge the Treasury to tax Premier League clubs who furlough staff and do not reduce player wages during the coronavirus crisis.
Knight also wrote to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, labelling the actions of some clubs “morally wrong”.
“The purpose of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not to support the economics of Premier League clubs,” he said.
“I would like to request that the Premier League seek to broker an agreement between member clubs to change their approach.
“I have written to the Chancellor today to propose that, should clubs choose not to change their approach, the Treasury pursue a means of financial redress whereby the Exchequer recoups a proportion of the money that clubs are paying to players.”
The actions of some Premier League clubs are in stark contrast to some of the largest teams in other top-flight European leagues.
Players from German club Bayern Munich agreed to take a 20 per cent pay cut, while players from Italian powerhouse Juventus gave up four months’ worth of wages.